January 2017                                                                                           eNewsletter
YES Final Logo
Dear Friends,

Happy New Year from all of us at YES, and our great gratitude to all who donated to our Year-End S'More Campaign! Thanks to your support we exceeded our total from last year's campaign  and every dollar was doubled by an anonymous foundation! 

The success of the campaign will support powerful experiences in the outdoors for YES youth and families, and allow us to continue some of the exciting projects piloted in 2016 We're thrilled to bring you news of two such projects which are bringing YES youth into deeper connection with nature, their own leadership potential, and outdoor fun. In this first eNewsletter of 2017, we introduce you to the Richmond Rangers, who can be found exploring the East Bay Regional Parks rain or shine, and we look ahead to Winter Camp at St. Dorothy's Rest which is right around the corner!

Read on to meet our young naturalists in training, get a sneak peak at Winter Camp, and find out about our February 25th Run to Nature Fund-Racer which is bringing our community together in a whole new way! 


Eric Aaholm, Executive Director
Successful Richmond Rangers Pilot to Continue in 2017!

Big Excitement as the Rangers make fire!
Watch and feel the excitement as the Richmond Rangers make fire by friction!
Fifteen YES Summer Campers  have been  spending every other Saturday  exploring their local regional  parks in depth, gaining skills as young naturalists, and having a blast!  Our very own Richmond Rangers are also blossoming as teachers in their own right while sharing their experiences and new knowledge with parents and siblings during monthly Family Nights.

Richmond Rangers was launched in September of 2016, when we teamed up with the East Bay Regional Parks District to bring YES youth into regular, profound contact with the natural world, learn what a career as ranger might be like, and share their newfound knowledge with their friends and family. These 11, 12, and 13 year-olds are building on their summer camp experiences with year-round nature education and outdoor adventures, while gaining skills that ready them for YES's Camp-to-Community teen program at age 14. 

With trips to the Tilden Little Farm, Point Pinole, Crab Cove Marine Reserve and more, it's been a great success and a wonderful collaboration.  Generous support from the George Miller Youth Fund and our donor community will keep these youngsters on the trail in 2017!

Click here to meet our young Rangers and see more of what they've been up to.
Walk, Run, Jog, or Skip for YES on February 25th!

It's the YES Run to Nature Fund-Racer! From one Board member's incredible plan to run up the side of Mount Diablo in 2016, the Fund-Racer has grown into a community-wide effort taking place right here in the Richmond Marina.  We're gearing up to get outside, get in shape, and  quadruple  the funds raised last year! 

On February 25th, YES youth and adult participants, staff, board members, volunteers, friends, and family will be running, jogging, and walking the 5K, 10K, or half-marathon heats of the Brazen Victory Race along the beautiful San Francisco Bay Trail. 
We are inspired  by the four Camp-to-Community teens who are running and the four Wellness Navigators who are walking the 5K to support YES!

You can support their efforts and learn more by clicking the pictures below. And, you can join us! Just send us an email  or click here for more information.


Summer Camp in Winter? Absolutely!

Last February, building on ten years of  Summer Camp partnership, YES held a two-night Winter Retreat mini-camp at St Dorothy's Rest in Camp Meeker. YES youth and Camp-to-Community teen leaders spent three days immersed in the beauty of the redwoods where they were engaged in teambuilding activities, outdoor adventures, arts & crafts, evenings in front of the fire, and building new friendships. 

Thanks to a second year of funding from the Episcopal Impact Fund , 45 YES youth and Camp-to-Community teen leaders will be boarding a bus on February 20th for another incredible Winter Retreat! Through outdoor and traditional camp activities, and the opportunity to reconnect with fellow summer campers, the retreat will bring back camp memories from last summer, and get everyone excited to return to Summer Camp in 2017! 

"Nature made me think 
about what I want to be when 
I grow up.
I want to make the world a better place. "
- YES Camper